Irene delays LI colleges' opening day

A file photo of Stony Brook University. (March A file photo of Stony Brook University. (March 29, 2011) Photo Credit: Jasmin Frankel

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Stony Brook University, Suffolk County Community College, Farmingdale State College and SUNY Old Westbury delayed the start of classes this week because of the effects of Tropical Storm Irene.

They were among local colleges grappling with power outages, cleaning up debris or simply opting to give students more time to travel to campus safely.

Suffolk and Old Westbury reported power outages Monday, while Stony Brook and Farmingdale reported no problems. The decision to delay was made last week in anticipation of storm damage.

"We just didn't know how the storm would affect us," said Farmingdale spokeswoman Kathy Coley. She said the college, a Red Cross shelter site, did not lose power.

Farmingdale's classes, set to begin Saturday, are now slated to start Tuesday. Stony Brook delayed its opening from Monday to Tuesday to give students more time to move in, said spokesman James Montalto.

Classes begin Wednesday instead of Monday at Old Westbury, where generators are supplying basic power to dorms and other buildings, said college spokesman Michael Kinane.

Adelphi University in Garden City changed students' move-in day from Sunday to Monday, but classes are to begin on schedule Wednesday, said spokeswoman Kali Chan.

Long Island University's C.W. Post Campus in Brookville and New York Institute of Technology in Old Westbury reported power outages, but both were using generators and plan to start classes next week as scheduled.

Classes at Suffolk begin Tuesday, a day later than scheduled, as officials waited for power to be restored to the Grant Campus in Brentwood. "For the most part, our campuses will be ready," said spokeswoman Mary Lou Araneo.

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Hofstra University, Nassau Community College, Molloy College and Briarcliffe College reported no problems or schedule changes. Representatives from other Long Island colleges did not respond to calls.

Amityville schools superintendent John Williams was not sure whether his public school district could open on schedule Thursday, citing a power outage affecting two schools, including Miles Middle School. Miles houses the district's computer servers, now out of service, and food-storage facilities, where $50,000 worth of food is threatened.

The district's convocation for employees is to go on as scheduled Tuesday, but "beyond that, we're playing it by ear."

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